Over the past week all of my core market health indicators improved. None of them improved enough to change any portfolio allocations. One thing that is still concerning is that technology isn’t participating strongly in this rally. I’d like to see the ratio between NDX and SPX break above its 20 week moving average as a sign the rally has legs. Some consolidation here then a resumption of the rally that is led by financials and technology would be a very healthy sign of a big run ahead.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve highlighted some encouraging signs that had accompanied price strength in the market. Unfortunately, most of those signs of strength haven’t persisted as the market is moving close to all time highs. First lets look at the Bullish Percent Index (BPSPX). It finally got above the 2015 highs in March and April of this year, but the subsequent consolidation in the market did serious damage to this indicator. It is still below 60% which is a big drag on the market (and adds the risk of a big decline). Basically, a lot of point and figure charts turned bearish during the last consolidation and haven’t righted themselves. Next is small caps stocks compared to big caps. They have lagged during the last rally. I like to see them lead as a sign of investors taking risk in their portfolios. Money flowed into mega cap stocks faster than big cap stocks during the last rally too. Another poor sign for a sustained rally. It looks
Just a quick note, my Market Risk Indicator is warning today. As a result, the portfolio allocations are now as follows: Volatility Hedged portfolio: 50% long and 50% hedged with mid term volatility (and ETF/ETN similar to VXZ) Long / Short Hedged portfolio: 50% long high beta stocks and 50% hedged with mid term volatility Long / Cash portfolio: 100% cash I suspect it will take a couple of weeks to see what the fallout of Brexit will be. Until the market has less risk the portfolios will remain hedged or in cash. FYI, the market risk warning takes precedence over my core market health indicators.
This past week has seen a significant increase in my stock market risk indicator components. Currently, two of the four components are warning, however, three components warned at times during the week. The fourth component still has a bit of room before creating a market risk signal. With the market so close to all time highs it is odd behavior to see market participants so skittish. The behavior I’m seeing in the indicator components is similar to the action during the dip in mid June 2011. This isn’t a prediction of any decline to come, merely a heads up to let you know that a warning could come quickly if the market continues to fall. Risk is rising, but we don’t have a warning yet so there is no change to the Volatility Hedged portfolio. It remains 100% long. My core market health indicators are still suffering damage as the market dips. Most significantly, my measures of trend could go negative over the next few weeks if the market can’t
Here’s an updated (and cleaner) chart of the Nasdaq 100 index (NDX) / S&P 500 index (SPX) ratio. It has turned down from below its 20 week moving average. This is discouraging because I believe we won’t get a sustained rally above the all time highs in SPX unless we get some leadership from NDX. Over the past week, all of my market health indicator categories fell a bit, but not enough to make any portfolio allocation changes. The core portfolios have roughly 60% long exposure to the market. The Volatility Hedged portfolio is still 100% long.
One thing I like to see during market rallies is strong leadership from three areas of the market at the same time; big cap stocks, small cap stocks (RUT), and the Nasdaq 100 (NDX). For big cap leadership, I like to see broad participation from a majority of stocks in the S&P 500 index (SPX). One way to measure large cap breadth is from indicators like the Bullish Percent Index or percent of stocks above their 200 day moving average. A few weeks ago, I highlighted their recent strength. Another way to measures large cap breadth is by comparing mega cap stocks to large cap stocks. I do this by comparing the S&P 500 Equal Weight index (SPXEW) against SPX. Long time readers know that I use a dip below the 20 week moving average in the SPXEW v. SPX ratio as a warning sign that some chop is ahead (and possibly danger). When this occurs it signals that money is rotating out of big cap stocks and into mega
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a lot of blog posts and Twitter charts highlighting the bull flag on a S&P 500 Index (SPX) daily chart. This week the bull flag was broken to the upside. The flag itself is important, but is made more important by the notice of a lot of market participants. Remember, what makes technical analysis a powerful tool isn’t just the patterns themselves… it’s the number of people and the amount of money that act on the pattern. The chart I’ve been watching and believe is more significant is the weekly bull flag on SPX. Of course, no one is talking about it so it’s probably irrelevant. 😉 Anyway, what I’m seeing on this chart is a nice clean break above the weekly bull flag and then a successful retest of the upper trend line. This last chart is probably the most important. It represents price targets tweeted by traders for SPX. Most people are tweeting 2100 and 2110-2115. That doesn’t represent a
There was little change in my core market health indicators over the past week. They bounced around a bit, but no big moves. My measures of market strength are very close to going positive, but couldn’t make it this week. As a result, no changes to the core portfolio allocations.
The rally out of the February lows has repaired a lot of charts. If you look at the bullish percent index (BPSPX) the last rally brought the percent of bullish point and figure charts in the S&P 500 Index (SPX) to nearly 80%. That level is higher than BPSPX achieved during all of 2015. This is an encouraging sign for the market as a whole because it gives BPSPX plenty of room to consolidate before getting below the 60% level. Long time readers know that I use readings below the 60% level to indicate increased risk (big market declines occur when breadth is already weak). So as long as BPSPX stays above 60% this indicator will remain bullish. Another indication of chart repair comes from the percent of stocks in SPX that are above their 200 day moving average. This indicator is back to the 2015 level again. It has also improved substantially from the levels of the August 2015 to November 2015 rally (which had price peaking above the
This week had little effect on my core market health indicators. They mostly deteriorated, but in a small way. One significant change this week came from my measures of market quality. They are approaching oversold territory. The last time this happened was in early February just before the market began the current rally. Don’t take that as a prediction, just an observation. The short story is we wait another week to see if the dip continues or ends.